RICHLAND -- For 111 couples, Friday -- 11-11-11-- was a day they won't soon forget.
"I knew we needed to do something special today," said the Rev. Stacey Miles, owner of Uniquely, I Do and Tri-Cities Wedding Professionals Network. "People love getting married on sequential numbers."
She and another of the wedding officiates affiliated with Uniquely, I Do, the Rev. Diane Crawford, began brainstorming ideas earlier this year.
"We knew we'd have a flood of requests, so we decided, why not do them all at once, in one place?" Miles said.
They contacted photographers, disc jockeys, a baker, an event decorator -- every vendor they normally work with for weddings -- and asked them to donate their services for this one day. They were even able to get Memories at Sunset Event Center in Richland.
"No one said no," Miles said.
With everything donated, the wedding event was free to the brides and grooms. All they needed to do Friday was show up with marriage license in hand.
"For many, this is likely the only way they can afford to get married. This is as good as it gets," said Patty Salsbury of Florescence by Design in Kennewick.
Megan Barnes and Chris Giesen, who drove from Walla Walla, agreed.
"I went looking at wedding gowns, saw the price and knew that was so not happening," Barnes said. "We were planning to have a small wedding anyway. Why spend so much on something that's just one day? This is a day we'll always remember, 11-11-11."
Many of the couples married Friday live in the Tri-Cities. Others traveled from Chelan, Grant and Yakima counties, Othello, Walla Walla, even Missoula, Mont.
And their attire was as diverse as their hometowns. Many wore traditional wedding outfits -- suits and gowns, one with a 10-foot train -- while others came in jeans.
Each couple had their own 15-minute wedding. Miles and the other four officiates began uniting brides and grooms in marriage at 9 a.m. and continued on into the evening.
After exchanging vows, the newlyweds posed for photos, ate their wedding cupcakes and had their first dance as husband and wife.
Joel Pruneda Jr. and his new bride, Alicia Perez Pruneda, of Othello, liked the whole concept.
"It was simple and quick. We didn't want a big fancy wedding, just a plain Jane one, and this is as close to Vegas as we can get," he said.
Being married on Veterans Day appealed to Jos Hernandez and Larissa Belair Hernandez of Yakima.
"I've joined the Army and will be leaving for basic training in a few months," he said. "We knew we wanted to get married soon. We don't do the church thing and couldn't see getting married in a church we don't belong to. This is perfect."
"And it's an easy day to remember," she said.
Kevin Whitworth and his new bride, Michelle McDougall Whitworth, of Kooskia, Idaho, won't have trouble remembering their anniversary. He also turned 41 on Friday.
"The couple married on this date will have a story to share for generations," Miles said. "This can only be done once more in our lifetimes, on 12-12-12, then it goes away."